Have you noticed how there are very few stand-alone apps to support marketing on LinkedIn? This makes marketing via LinkedIn more effort intensive and results slower to show, because marketers are forced to run through many of their processes manually.
Considering that LinkedIn has a lot to offer, searching for ways to increase efficiency on the platform is a worthwhile pursuit. That’s why we’ve decided to collate a list of LinkedIn marketing tools for you to use, with descriptions of what you can do with them.
Before we delve into the tools available on the market, let us review the benefits of marketing on LinkedIn.
1. SEO – LinkedIn pages are indexed by both Google and Bing
2. Thought-leadership and branding – there’s no better platform to build your professional brand and standing
3. Networking – via LinkedIn introductions, you can reach important people directly
4. Audience targeting – by participating on niche groups on LinkedIn, you can reach out to and impact your specific audience
1. Publish and promote content with LinkedIn’s accessory Tools
LinkedIn offers tools of its own to bring additional functionality to the platform. Among them are Pulse, SlideShare and Elevate.
LinkedIn Pulse is a publishing platform owned by LinkedIn. Blogging on Pulse can be looked at as guest posting to reach all of LinkedIn’s users (450 million). Other advantages are – the posts are published as soon as you hit ‘publish’, they don’t need to be very long (70% of Pulse posts are under 1000 words) and you can apply to be a ‘featured article’ by tweeting your published URL with ‘Tip @LinkedInPulse’. Each time you post on Pulse, your connections receive a notification in their inbox, and LinkedIn also provides you with analytics of how many views you got and exactly who viewed your post (top industry, job title and traffic source).
SlideShare is LinkedIn’s content hub where information is shared in the form of presentations, a format that goes well with LinkedIn’s professional theme. SlideShare has over 60 million unique visits each month. Every presentation you share can be downloaded, and each slide of your presentation can be clipped. If you brand very slide and share something brilliant, you’re setting yourself up for increased visibility. At a small cost, you can access analytics for your shares such as referral numbers, sources and types of content that is working best.
LinkedIn Elevate is LinkedIn’s employee advocacy platform that helps marketers source and content and enable employees of a company to share it on social media. From identifying employee influencers, to discovering trending content for them to share, Elevate helps businesses manage content for employee advocacy. The platform also facilitates tracking of shares and the impact that they drive. The traffic, leads and new hires resulting from the employee advocacy program can all be measured and tracked. The demographics of who you’re reaching can also be analyzed. Being integrated with LinkedIn gives Elevate the added advantage of pulling page views and such data connecting employee advocacy efforts to the impact on your LinkedIn presence.
2. Source and share the latest relevant content in your industry with DrumUp
DrumUp is a multiple social media account management and content curation app that helps source, manage and schedule content on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. The company also offers an employee advocacy and content promotion modules to help you amplify your shares on social media.
Content discovery and curation
While marketing, content is used for two major purposes – to attract your target audience and to influence them. To do either one, it makes sense to share content that is new in some way. What impact can you expect to have on an audience if they’ve already seen what you’re sharing?
DrumUp works on an intelligent algorithm that scours top sites for the latest information in your industry in accord with the keywords that you choose. What separates it from other content curators is that it focuses on surfacing the latest information when most other tools work at sourcing the most popular content. The app also lets you connect RSS feeds of your favorite blogs so you can access all the content you need on one platform. If there’s something you post regularly or to multiple accounts, the app lets you store content in a library and schedule posts from there when required. Further, to cut down on the woes of multiple account curation, the app lets you create a group of accounts and curate content/schedule to the group with a single action. If you’re concerned about the bigger picture of your content curation efforts, the app allows you an editable aerial view with its calendar feature.
DrumUp employee advocacy platform represents a complete solution to initiating, managing and tracking your employee advocacy program. Using the platform you can easily share content with employees via a common company stream and your employees can easily post that curated content to their LinkedIn accounts (and Facebook and Twitter as well). Being a content curator, DrumUp allows you access to the latest industry information to share with your employees and help them establish their expertise on LinkedIn (an important part of social selling). Sharing industry developments with employees also helps with updating of knowledge.
To drive the shares the platform has a leaderboard and a gamified points allotment system. All shares are also tracked for engagement analytics – per post and per employee on each social media platform. Using the engagement analytics you can ascertain which posts were most popular amongst your employees and on social media.
3. Track the progress of your marketing efforts on LinkedIn with analytics tools
Measuring your progress is essential because it is necessary to track the impact of your tactics to improve them over time. There are a host of tools that offer analytics for LinkedIn, including LinkedIn itself. You could explore the following social media analytics tools to decide which one to use and refer to this write-up to determine what to track.
Quintly dives into the depths of your company page performance, and lets you benchmark your page against any other page that you pick. The app tracks content performance on LinkedIn and reports which types of content perform best and at which time of day. One of the app’s features is tracking the follower growth of any LinkedIn page – the total numbers, the increase and relative change rate between two LinkedIn pages. The app also lets you navigate a page by sorting page updates by day of the week, time of posting and post distribution. Content engagement can also be measured on the app in terms of rate of interaction and the average number of comments and likes on any LinkedIn page. Additionally, you can also measure the performance of your job updates in comparison with your competitors’.
SumAll focuses on pulling data and converting it to easily readable formats. The data sent out is in the form of a complete report. For LinkedIn, the tool offers a breakdown of engagement, post analysis, follower growth and content reach. You could use SumAll together with Pulse and DrumUp to create a complete content publishing and measurement system.
Unmetric adds to the regular insights available on LinkedIn and via other analytics apps. Using Unmetric you can determine the type of content that your competitors are succeeding with so you can replicate the elements that are working. The app also lets you benchmark your progress against that of your competitors. Post running a campaign on LinkedIn, the lets you view campaign metrics like comments and shares. Unmetric also gathers information of jobs posted, the companies that are hiring and the performance of job updates. Overall this app gives you a picture of hat’s working on LinkedIn so you can apply it to improve your marketing efforts.
4. Measure and expand your influence with influencer marketing tools
In 2015, LinkedIn reported that over 1 million of their users were publishing content on Pulse. With that much competition, you need to increase your visibility to have impact on your target market. There are two ways to do this – by involving influencers or employees. There are tools that help you measure your influence score and applications that help you identify influencers to connect with (influencer marketing tools), both important steps in expanding your influence on any social media platform.
Webfluential is a simply application that mediates between brands and influencers. Influencers sign up with their social media profiles and state the price for their services. Marketers sign up, browse through influencer profiles and initiate their campaigns. The app tracks the campaigns and reports the results. Webfluential recently introduced LinkedIn into their mix (on September 19, 2016). Influencers can now sign up with their LinkedIn profiles to run campaigns from them. The entire set of features has not been enabled yet for LinkedIn (and SnapChat, another new addition), but the company has begun to move towards making it fully functional.
Klout is a social media application that focuses on gathering genuine earned media for your brand – photos, videos, quotes and reviews. The app lets you target specific groups of audiences to identify your influencers. You can then excite them to generate content, run campaigns via those influencers and track results with advanced analytics. Content creation is driven by promising exciting rewards – like early access to a new product, tickets to an important event or discounts. Klout also calculates your influence score to help you set goals and improve your social media presence.
5. Draw more attention to your campaigns, posts and company page using designing tools
There are so many visual formats for businesses to use in their content – photographs, graphs, infographics, gifs and videos. Even if you haven’t studied design, there are ways for you to create stunning visuals using created resources and inspiration from the internet.
The best part about Canva is that it comes with a range on Canvas sizes and pre-designed templates for each of them. Although the app doesn’t stock a size for LinkedIn, you can use the canvas that comes closest to 974px x 300px for a cover image and 350px x 110px for LinkedIn posts. For SlideShare, you can use the presentation canvas and templates that are available with it. If you’re publishing on Pulse, the blog cover canvas is a good option.
To create infographics using Venngage, you simply begin by choosing a professionally designed template that best suits the flow of you infographic. Once you have, you can represent your data visually using graphs and add icons from the library to supplement your text. The app also has the regular font and color options so you can completely customize your infographic.
Flickr is an online visual resource that stocks a wide range of photographs uploaded by thousands of their users. With a quick keyword search you can locate an image to use on your blog or on a LinkedIn post. The stock includes visuals available for commercial use, with a referral link to the source.
6. Connect LinkedIn with other platforms using IFTTT
If you’re hard-pressed for time, or some of your content works on multiple platforms, you can cross-post content between different platforms.
You can automatically post your Facebook page status on LinkedIn, cross-post your tweets on LinkedIn (with a hash-tag) or share top posts from say Medium or the New York Times with LinkedIn followers. There are multiple IFTTT recipes, so you have to explore and identify the best ones for you.
LinkedIn is ripe with potential for marketers. Several companies, especially B2B businesses rely on LinkedIn for lead generation and sales, and many more hire via LinkedIn. Instead of manually managing your LinkedIn marketing efforts, why not combine a group of apps to streamline your marketing processes? If you already have, and want to share with your peers a LinkedIn marketing recipe that works, feel free to leave a note in the comments section. If you have experience running campaigns on LinkedIn and want to share your experience, write to us using our contact form. We’re also open to receiving questions related to marketing.
Image credit: Unsplash